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NCJ Number: 205393 Find in a Library
Title: Disentangling Offenders and Non-Offenders in the Scottish Children's Hearings: A Clear Divide?
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:43  Issue:2  Dated:May 2004  Pages:164-179
Author(s): Lorraine Waterhouse; Janice McGhee; Nancy Loucks
Date Published: May 2004
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article compared a sample of offending and non-offending juveniles referred to Scottish children’s hearings during February 1995 in order to examine their similarities and differences.
Abstract: Established in 1971, the Scottish children’s hearings system was designed to integrate within the same forum children in need of care and protection and children who commit offenses. Thus, the children’s hearings system is both a child welfare system and a juvenile correctional system, although no deliberately punitive sanctions are available to this body. In 1964, the Kilbrandon Committee led to the establishments of the integrated children’s hearings because they found that children in need of welfare care and children who offend have more similarities than differences in terms of their realities and their needs. The current study compared a sample of 482 children who were referred to children’s hearings during February 1995; 310 children (64 percent) were referred for offenses and 172 (36 percent) were referred for welfare purposes. File data provide evidence for and against the Kilbrandon proposition that offending and welfare-needing children are more similar than different. Similarities were noted in the children’s social circumstances and their welfare needs; children referred for offenses were also in need of care and protection in many cases. However, the analysis also revealed that at initial contact, the needs of the different classes of children may be more specific than shared. The final analysis showed that many of the children in the sample fell along a continuum in which needs were shared, with a small group of children at either extreme in which needs were divergent. Findings suggest that the hearings may be useful for helping the children who fall along the continuum, but not necessarily appropriate for the small number of children who fall at the extremes of the continuum. The practice of children’s hearings in Scotland has the capacity to create a holistic response to children in need, so long as it is recognized that the needs of some children may be distinct from the needs of others. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Scotland
Index Term(s): Alternative court procedures; Child welfare; Juvenile diversion programs
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